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Territory and Conflict in the Chocó Region: Entanglements, Civil Society and State

Since the early nineties, various trends are affecting the situation of Afrodescendants´ populations in the Pacific region of Colombia. The Constitution of 1991 proclaimed the country as a multicultural nation. After that process, the Law 70 of 1993 was introduced in order to define the collective territories of black communities. A process of collective lands entitling benefits for several families in Chocó and others regions. In the midst of these policies, various negative trends have prevented black communities of exercising their territorial rights. The armed conflict, narcotraffic and governmental development policies are among the factors that have produced forced displacement, dispossession, de-territorialization and confinement of this population. To overcome this situation, various proposals and initiatives have been offered and adopted by the civil society and the state. These initiatives have been dictated, influenced and pursued by (or in accordance with) international regimes, actors and institutions. The aim of this research is to analyze the relations between multiple actors, as well as the entanglements and trans-regional elements embedded in strategies regarding the respect of Afrodescendants´ rights to their collective territories. At the same time, the study aims at analyzing the links between territorial rights, violence and inequality. The research is focused on the collective territories situated in the Department of Chocó.

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